Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Featured Member: Karen Matheis

KAEA would like to start featuring members from across the state in semi-regular blog posts to share some of the amazing things happening in Kansas art education and to shine a spotlight on members. Our second featured member is Karen Matheis. Karen will be presenting a workshop at the 2015 KAEA Professional Development Conference at Pitt State October 8-10. 

I have been teaching elementary art in the Shawnee Mission School district since 1992. I am fortunate to work with students who are children, nieces, and nephews of students that I taught in previous years, which makes my teaching community seem like a family.

As a teacher, I encourage the people I work with to find their personal expression and explore possibilities of creative art making. I believe art teachers are unique in that we can create an environment where students can investigate and learn in meaningful ways.

We are in an exciting and changing time in art education. Technology is allowing amazing possibilities, and there are many directions and resources for us to choose from. The KAEA fosters the arts throughout Kansas. I enjoy going to the annual conferences and meeting people from all over the state of Kansas. It is important to have a professional organization that ties us all together.

I love teaching art to all levels and ages of students. Other teaching experiences include working at the acclaimed Lawrence Arts Center Preschool Arts Program as an undergraduate, and teaching adult art education in recent years.

My personal art making is very important to me. I am disciplined when it comes to working on my own oil painting I am represented by Blue Gallery in Kansas City. Blue is very helpful to me, both professionally, as well as critiquing my work.

Other things about me: I run six miles every day before school, and am an avid yoga and gym person. I am constantly working at time management, to allow for personal time along with the demands of teaching.

Come to my workshop at the 2015 KAEA fall conference where I will talk about strategies for personal art making while balancing family and full time jobs.

I am a Kansas native, and grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. I currently live in Lawrence, Kansas where I am an active supporter of the arts community.
I have a Master of Arts Education ( with undergraduate degrees in art and art education) from The University of Kansas.

( My personal website)

( website for Blue gallery)

https://vimeo.com/128036556 documentary of Karen�s work

Newspaper review of a show from Last November at The Lawrence Arts Center

Workshop Description
Setting Goals for Personal Art-Making
Karen Matheis

Finding time for personal art making can be a challenge for busy art educators. Karen will present ides on how to utilize time and set personal goals. Group discussion will follow.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My 1st Conference

The 2007 Student NAEA group from Emporia State University and our fearless leader Dr.Grove. I'm in front of the "L" in the white shirt.
I want to tell you a little story about my first KAEA conference. Ok, I suppose it was technically my second conference as I had helped with the conference the previous year when I was a sophomore at ESU, but this was the first FULL conference experience complete with packing, carpooling, learning, and meeting new people in a new place. It was 2007 and the KAEA conference was being held in Great Bend that year, with the theme of Wild About Art.
The art education students at ESU were all encouraged to apply for a conference grant which would cover our conference registration fees. We had all become members of KAEA/NAEA and were already enjoying those benefits like a subscription to Art Education. (You can join here: http://www.arteducators.org/community/join) Since KAEA took care of our registration fees, we carpooled and shared hotel rooms, attending the conference was quite affordable.

 The 7 of us packed and piled into a couple vehicles to head to the conference. On Thursday night we had a chance to just hang out and meet art teachers who were showing up the night before the conference started. We had fun playing Pictionary by the pool.

The next morning, the conference officially kicked off! We enjoyed our meals, our workshops, and especially networking. I don't know how many times we heard exclamations of "You should come student teach with me!" and "There's going to be a job opening in my district!" The workshops are great every year, but I think I look forward to the time between the workshops and meetings just as much. My favorite workshop that year was about Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I hauled my camera with me but with the abundance of smart phones now, taking pictures of cool ideas you see is easier than ever.

In exchange for receiving a student conference grant, you are asked to donate something for the silent auction. I donated a mixed media collage made from papers and metal. My friend, Josh, pitched in and helped show the artwork. (It was a live auction that year).
Some workshops are project or technique based while others are based on other parts of teaching art. No matter what you are interested in teaching some day, you'll be able to find something new to learn.
I even helped present a workshop that another student had planned- a lesson plan swap.

Another conference highlight is the awards ceremony that honors teachers as "outstanding" in their field. I teared up listening to the nominators describe their friends and colleagues and thought "I want to be that good someday!" It was inspiring, to say the least.
I think traveling to the conference together made our relationships stronger, too. I'm still in touch with most of the students I attended with and know we can call on each other if we need help, even though we're all working across the state and one of us is now teaching in a different country! 

I really do feel like attending that conference set me on a path for my teacher. I had known I was going to be an art teacher since I was in high school, but attending the conference showed me how it could be better as a connected teacher. I've only missed one conference since that "first" one and I look forward to them every year. This year we will gather at Pitt State where I will reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, attend some great workshops (it's so hard to choose!), and donate some art to the silent auction so that future students will have the same opportunity to attend the conference that I had. 
If you've never been to a KAEA conference before, I encourage you to join us and try it out! There is still time for pre-service art teachers to apply for grants and you can find the information here: www.kaea.com/grants.html. Apply for that grant, attend the conference, TALK to people, take pictures, and be awesome! Please let me know if you have any questions about KAEA, our conference, or the student grants.
-Katie Morris, KAEA Webmaster, PreK-12th grade Art Teacher USD 335.